America's largest telecoms service providers are shedding jobs as the US communications market continues to struggle.
AT&T, Verizon and Sprint all plan to cut jobs over the next few months as the companies look for ways to reduce operating costs and remain competitive.
AT&T's Broadband cable network division has confirmed that it will cut about 500 staff, around 11.4 per cent, at its corporate headquarters.
According to the company, the cuts are essentially unrelated to the downturn in the economy or its planned acquisition of the Comcast cable business.
Nevertheless AT&T will push more of the customer service aspects of the business out to its regional operations with the cuts. AT&T Broadband has about 4,400 workers in its headquarters where the cuts will take place.
The company has said that its 2000 employees at regional offices overlooking day-to-day operations of the services and products will not be affected.
But job cuts are not restricted to the wireline side of the business. Sprint's wireless Sprint PCS unit is cutting an estimated 3,000 jobs as the company closes five of its 13 customer service centres.
The cuts represent about nine per cent of the PCS workforce and come on the heels of the slashing of 6,000 employees and 1,500 contract workers in recent months. According to the company, the cuts will save PCS an estimated $60m annually.
Sprint maintains that the job losses will not have an impact on customer services as more and more subscribers are using the Sprint PCS website to access their accounts and monitor bills and other information rather than talking to a customer service representative.
Last week, Sprint's wireline and wireless divisions reported a combined net loss of $1.4bn.
The AT&T and Sprint cuts follow news that Verizon Wireless, a joint venture between Verizon Communications and Vodafone Group, is to shed about 1,000 workers across the US.
Unlike Sprint, Verizon confirmed that no workers who directly serve customers would lose their jobs.
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